Xbox announced this week that they will be spending nearly 70 billion dollars on the video game giants that are Activision Blizzard, as well as the other franchises that fall under that larger umbrella. Earlier last year we were given some similar information with Xbox when they acquired Bethesda, adding a chunk of new studios to Xbox’s already impressive lineup. However, Microsoft spent nowhere near the amount on Bethesda as they did on the Blizzard and Activision deal, which was worth 7.5 billion. At the time that original deal was the largest priced acquisition in Microsoft’s history but compared to the 70 billion they spent, that looked like nothing. Possibly the most interesting factor out of this entire exchange may not be the question of exclusives in the future for Xbox but the fact that many of the franchises that are to be purchased include various old-school PlayStation mascots. Characters such as Spyro and Crash were largely remembered as Sony games back in the day, and Call of Duty has always had PlayStation exclusives such as early access to DLC content. The new deal was without a doubt loaded with some beyond notable titles, and as such we’ve detailed some of the most interesting franchises Xbox will acquire with the Blizzard and Activation deal.
Xbox Bethesda Franchises
Last year when Xbox acquired Bethesda it was, at the time, the largest acquisition for the company and largest in the industry, but as this newest acquisition of some of the most well-known franchises, studios, and titles were announced Bethesda looks like an indie studio in comparison. Honestly, it was a shock that not only did Xbox’s announcement set to beat their own record but Sony hadn’t announced anything nearly as monumental in the time between. Currently, Bethesda’s most anticipated release, Starfield, will be exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem, including PC. Before Starfield was announced, Bethesda was mostly known for their very strong and unique story-driven worlds including the Fallout series, the Elder Scrolls franchise, and the most recent release from the studio: Deathloop. Currently, Deathloop remains a PlayStation and PC exclusive as the deal with the game was earlier than the acquisition of ZeniMax by Microsoft. Overall, Xbox acquiring Bethesda should not be overshadowed by the fact that Xbox is about to grow exponentially with its new and upcoming acquisitions. Although the Bethesda deal was major for Xbox, the new franchises set to hit the console in the near future from Activision Blizzard should be seen as an even bigger feat and accomplishment.
Xbox to Acquire Blizzard, Activision, King, and many others
While Activision Blizzard was the most highlighted as they are the parent companies, and larger names as well, much smaller, lesser-known, or even slightly forgotten about titles and studios were also acquired through this deal as well since they fall under the earlier named companies. Among those other companies were King, Toys for Bob, High Moon Studios, Treyarch, Infinity Ward, Radical Entertainment, Sledgehammer Games, and “every Activision Blizzard team”, according to the official announcement from Phil Spencer, CEO of Xbox, though an Xbox Wire posted, linked above. Toys for Bob may not sound familiar at first but the company has been the name most associated with Crash Bandicoot since Crash 4, as well as assisting with Call of Duty: Warzone content and creating the Skylanders universe that Spyro has been prominently involved with. Toys for Bob was also the incredible team behind the reworked and remastered original Spyro trilogy that premiered on Sony’s PlayStation. King may sound familiar if you’re a mobile gamer as the company is most known for the Candy Crush Saga games.
Other Franchises and Titles
While some studios such as the Call of Duty studios are cycled between one another to create the next game, Sledgehammer, Treyarch, and Infinity Ward, other less notable studios such as Toys For Bob. Activision themselves have long been associated with franchises such as Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk, and the above-mentioned Call of Duty franchise. With Xbox behind the wheel of the once Halo competitor, the usually annual release may be loosened up a bit. Blizzard alone could have been a monumental announcement with such massive long-lasting hits as the expansive World of Warcraft, as well as Diablo and Overwatch. As Blizzard has been under intense scrutiny lately for their treatment towards employees, overall it was a pretty great deal for both parties as Xbox will now be responsible for pleading towards the cries of employees where Blizzard had failed. In the end, I think that Xbox would be better than the recent circumstances and I very much look forward to even just the possibilities Xbox can test with these new massive studio names added to their roster. When it comes down to it, Xbox has always been for the gamer overall and not to bring themselves individual sales, as seen with recent tactics from the company and with Game Pass. Xbox’s upcoming deal with Activision Blizzard should be viewed as positive overall as it will bring some incredible franchises and titles to Xbox consoles, Game Pass, and PC.